Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon. Angel Raye owns her Chibi scouts. Mini Saturn Jess owns her Chibi Senshi.
(A.N Mizuno Maia is Mizuno Ariel's younger sister. Read Mini Saturn Jess' fics for more details.)Perfect Child
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
Mizuno Maia walked slowly home from school, head bowed, tears of anger filling her eyes. Why did school have to be so hard? Well, actually, it wasn't so much that school itself was hard, but people were hard on her. She wasn't a genius like her parents or sister, but everyone seemed to think otherwise: everyone seemed to want her to be everything she wasn't.
It was bad enough that her parents expected her to be more like her sister, that everyone at school ignored her for being 'too clever' and that her only friend, Tennoh Jordan, had pretty much disappeared from her life since last year, when Jordan had begun soccer club after school and decided that, because she had friends her own age now, Maia wasn't really worth her time. Her sister's best friend, Madelyn, had been a year below her in school, but no, Ariel never had that problem. Maia supposed that maybe she and Jordan were just too different. Maybe their friendship hadn't been destined to last… And now the 'smart kid' who was never good enogh for her parents had this thing, a failing grade.
A failing grade in science class! That was extremely ironic seeing that her mother was one of the worlds leading scientists. Ariel had inherited her parent's love for science, but Maia just didn't understand it, not see anything even remotely interesting. She prefered art, but her mother seemed to think that art wasn't worth much. She had yelled at Maia last time she had caught her drawing; told her not to waste her time drawing; she should have been studying more; maybe her grades would be acceptable then.
Acceptable… that's what Maia wanted to be. That's all she wanted to be, and it seemed to be one of the things she never would be. She continued trudging home, groaning as it started to rain. Well, she had been stupid to not bring an umbrella with her; it was April after all. April, a new school year; her sister had just got into highschool two years early and with the highest grade on record, and she, Maia, had managed to fail her first test in the fourth grade. Yes, she was in fourth grade now; everyone else was at least a grade above her. On top of that, today Jordan had soccer, Isabella and Emily had music and Erin and Chloe had volleyball; so Maia was left to walk home alone. Alone, in the rain: well, she was almost glad in a way that she was alone; no one could see that she was crying then. She didn't like crying, not like her sister who had still been crying at the age of twelve when she wanted to get her own way. Maia was nine now, and e she hadn't cried in the way Ariel used to since she was six, something she was proud of. At least she wasn't as immature as Ariel had been, even if Ariel was a genius, and Ariel had more friends, and their parents loved Ariel more…
'Heck', Maia thought, 'maybe I should try being more like she was; maybe they'd notice me then.'
She shook the thought out of her mind; no, she wasn't like her sister, and she never wanted to be. She may have been acting all babyish, but Maia knew that even if she did try that, she'd still be even more of a cynic that Meioh Lydia. Maia blinked and realised she was home; she walked into the palace and up the stairs. Just before the reached her quarters, she noticed that Lydia was sitting on the stairs, her nose burried in an ancient-looking tome of a book. Lydia smiled and Maia and whispered, "don't let them get to you. They're not as bad as they will seem. They never meant it, but what she tells you later, she will mean in truth."
Maia was not surprised by the Pluto child's enigmatic response; what did surprise her, however, was Lydia's use of the future tense. The senshi of Pluto all had the gift of foresight, and Sailor Meiousei was no exception… but who were 'they' and why would they seem 'bad'. She simply halfheartedly smiled at the older girl and continued up to her family's quarters.
She opened the door and found Ariel sitting watching TV. She shot her younger sibling a scathing look, and Maia simply hurried past her and up to her room, where she quickly changed out of her soaked uniform. She was looking at her test paper, with the big red 'F' on it, and wondered what to do with it. Maybe she should just 'loose' it… but sensei would just send a note home to her parents then. Or maybe she could just pretend she hadn't had a test, which, of course, wouldn't work either. Well, perhaps she could get Aunt Serenity to sign it… but then again, she was Maia's mentor, and would tell her parents. Ok, the situation she was in was not good; not good at all. Then the door to her room opened and her mother came in.
Maia quickly tried to hide the test, but Ami had already spotted it and had taken it from Maia before she had a chance to protest. Ami looked at the paper in horror and then stared at Maia in absolute fury.
"Mizuno Maia Melody, what on earth do you think this is," Ami asked, her voice deathly quiet.
"A test grade," Maia replied, not daring to look her mother in the eyes.
"A test grade of ten percent," Ami said. "Ten percent. If you keep this up they'll hold you back a grade. Even your aunt Serenity never got a grade as bad as this in school!"
"Don't you dare start to make excuses for yourself!" Ami yelled. "Why don't you just take a leaf out of your sister's book for once in your life?"
Maia's temper began to bubble and she found herself yelling right back at her mother, "I have news for you, Okaa-san: I'm not Ariel! I'm Maia! And I'm sorry if I'm not so perfect as your precious eldest daughter." With that she rose to her feet and ran past her mother.
Maia heard Ami yell, "Just where do you think you're going?" and a cry from Ariel of "Maia!" but she didn't care. She sped out of her quarters, down the stairs and out of the palace and down the streets of crystal Tokyo, into the pouring April rain.
Maia continued to run and run, not caring where she was headed; she just wanted to get away from home, away from her perfectionist family. Running, running, on and on. Then she reached a deserted palygroud; she knew she was in the poorer part of Crystal Tokyo now as everything was old or broken completely, but she didn't care at all. She sat down on a broken set of swings that was covered in graffiti, and she started to cry again.
She sat in the rain, crying like she hadn't done for years. She had finally realised something; her parents had never wanted her, her parents had never needed her. All she was was the useless second child: the spare part: the part that refused to work propperly. Maia rocked herself back and forth on the swing, her feet scracping the ground, just thinking and crying, and realising for the first time how very alone she was. Not just now, but all she time… she was so useless, so alone…
"Maia-chan?" a voice whispered, jerking her out of her thoughts. She looked up and saw none other than her sister standing in the rain, looking down at her. Looking down at her, just as always.
"Why are you even out here?" Maia snapped, looking up.
"Too see if you were okay," Ariel replied, sitting down on the swing next to Maia.
"Why should you care now? You never have before. It's too late now, now go back home. Go running back to 'mommy' and 'daddy' and being their perfect genius. You're the kid they always wanted, onee-sama… no, Ariel-san. Why should I call you onee when you've never been a sister to me?" Maia hissed, tears falling from her eyes and running down her cheeks.
"Look, it's too late for that now, okay!" Maia yelled. "Just go away, Ariel, go back to your perfect life and forget that I was ever part of it, if you even ever acknowledged me as part of it in the first place!"
"What's gotten into you?"
"What do you mean, what's gotten into me? You'd never understand; you've always been the perfect one."
"What do you mean?"
"You're just perfect, like I said, the one they always wanted. Why was I even born? I'm useless."
"NO!" Maia yelled out, "I don't want your fake sympathey."
"Imotou…" Ariel began, but was silenced when Maia's hand connected with her face.
"Never," Maia hissed, "call me that again. You've never cared before, and you only 'care' now you've proved how perfect you are."
"We aren't little children any more…" Ariel replied.
"Will you stop talking to me like that?" Maia screamed. "I've spent my entire life having you or mom and dad telling me how stupid I am, and really I'm beyond sick of it!"
"Maia… I…" Ariel didn't know what to say.
"I'm…" Ariel began, "I'm…"
"Spit it out already," Maia snapped.
"I'm sorry, okay," Ariel replied. "I really am sorry for the way I treated you when we were younger, and I know it was wrong of me. I was just… jealous, that's all. Jealous of what I thought of as my parents and no one else's, and envious that you were getting more attention than me…"
"You? Envious? Of me?" Maia laughed. "What rubbish. I've never heard such trash in my entire life. No, Ariel, you hate me, you just won't say it to my face…"
"I've never hated you and I never will," Ariel sighed, "you're my sister, even though I denied that I first, you are and nothing can change that. As for mom earlier, she'd had a really bad day at work; she just overreacted a bit and she's really worried about you. That's why we're both out looking for you now."
"You've done a pretty good impression of the complete opposite to what you just said, for the past nine years," Maia sneered, "Mom too; and you really think I'll believe that?"
Then Lydia's words from earlier echoed through her head; maybe that's what Lydia had been telling her about… perhaps she should listen to the Pluto senshi's words. There was silence between the two, then...
"I'm sorry," Maia mumbled. Ariel looked up, surprised at her sister's sudden apoplogy. "I didn't mean to slap you earleir… I just got really angry."
"To be honest I can't balme you," Ariel replied, "after all, I've done far worse to you over nothing. You probably owe me a lot more of those."
Maia looked at Ariel; her sister was so much more mature than she had been before. High school was really doing her bratty attitude some good.
"Come on," Ariel said, smiling slightly. "Let's get out of the rain and go home. Together."
Maia smiled slightly; she had never heard Ariel use that word to refer to the two of them beofre; together… it sounded so right. Yes, together, as sisters, just like they should have done before.
"Yes," Maia smiled. She stood up, took her sister's hand and they walked on through the rain, together, as sisters… perhaps even as friends.